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B-school professors: Leading the way in 2012

The U.S. based website Poets & Quants has published a different kind of ranking. They haven’t chosen the best b-schools, but instead paid tribute to some of the best b-school teachers. Amongst them are a few legends of the academic community like Harvard’s Clayton Christensen, Wharton’s Jeremy Siegel, Stanford’s Jeffrey Pfeffer, Dartmouth’s Vijay Govindarajan, NYU’s Aswath Damodaran, Duke’s Peter Ubel, and London Business School’s Lynda Gratton.


Pankaj Ghemawat

One of the professors on the list is Pankaj Ghemawat, who now teaches strategy at Spain's IESE Business School. Indian-born Ghemawat entered Harvard College at the age of 16 and started his Ph.D. programme at the age of 19. With 23 years he taught his first lecture being considerably younger than most of his students at the time. In 1991, he was appointed the youngest full professor in the history of the business school. Since 2006, Ghemawat teaches at IESE Business School in Barcelona.

MBA Channel spoke to him about his teaching career and future challenges for his students:

What was your most memorable experience in the classroom?

My most memorable experience in the classroom was when I was first started out teaching. I remember watching a senior colleague at Harvard Business School teach the same case I had previously taught to a different group of MBA students. That experience, more than all the theoretical discussions of the case method that I had participated in, really brought home to me the richness of the choices facing a discussion leader-and how they can make the difference between a so-so discussion and a great one.

Why did you become a teacher?

I became a teacher because what I get excited about is learning. To be able to share that passion for learning with others, as part of my job, is simply incomparable.

What will be the most profound changes facing the business world in the next 5-10 years in your opinion and how do you prepare your students for this already?

The biggest change for business over the next 5-10 years will be having to deal with global economic weakness over the short run, while laying the foundation for longer term growth. I focus on teaching students about globalization and its implications for business and, as part of this we spend time analysing how leading-edge global companies are already tackling this challenge.

Full list of professors on
Read an interview with London Business School's Lynda Gratton on:

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